Here’s a quote from my last post on Element IDs and the Element ID Manager:

“All 3D elements (including grids and zones) as well as fills have an Element ID. Lines, Polylines, Dimensions, Text, and other annotation elements do not”

But what happens if you NEED a line to have an ID. I don’t know why. Perhaps for scheduling purposes or well… probably scheduling purposes. What is one to do?

Look at the problem differently. How else could you create a line so that it has an ID? Well what has IDs? 3D elements… objects. Okay so perhaps you could draw the line and save it as an object. Or find a line object that someone scripted with GDL. That’d work. But who knows if that object exists and saving a line as an object just to place it as an object so that it can have an ID seems like overkill.

Let’s try a different angle. How can you create lines in ArchiCAD? The line tool, the polyline tool, the dimension tool. None of those give you an Element ID. How about a very thin wall. That’s an example of a kludge. It’ll work, but only in certain circumstances and it’ll fail more often and cause you too many problems.

Surprising Benefits of the Morph Tool

ArchiCAD Morph ToolI know. I know. The answer is in the title of the blog post. The Morph tool has our answer. Every Morph has an ID and many other attributes and parameters—and I realize I haven’t yet published the post on attributes vs parameters, I guess that’ll come shortly! A line that is drawn using the Morph Tool can have all sorts of IFC parameters and everything else you’d need from a proper BIM element.  So if you need a smarter line, try using a Morph. You can always hide it in 3D (and all the ways to hide an element in 3D sounds like a great blog post topic).

Fills too!

And while fills can have IDs, they are lacking some other features, like IFC properties for example. Fortunately just like Morphs can mimic lines, they can also mimic fills (again just hide the layer in 3D so that you don’t see them).


  1. Mats

    Revision clouds with status 🙂
    How do I cut a hole in a morph fill? If I want to use it as a facaade material? It’s so easy to draw to 2D morph “fill” in elevation but then to cut hole for windows…I have to give the morph some thickness and then subtract…would be better for the flat morph to behave like a slab edit wise…

  2. Jared Banks

    Revision clouds with the ID as the the number could definitely work. Though I guess you could do that with a transparent fill (either could then have a label turned on that shows the revision number). AND if you set the line type to be a cloud line type… okay I need to think about this more, do some tests, and write a post!

    As for the question about cutting a hole in a 2D morph Fill… I just recorded a short (2 minute) video that shows you how:

    • Mats

      super. Thanks Jared 🙂 Need to sit down and get the grips of the editing planes and the selection methods for the morph.
      Morph and Mindy?


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